Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2004-06-18 Reporter: Krisjan Lemmer

Knowing the Devil



Mail and Guardian




Krisjan Lemmer

Web Link


Comment & Analysis

Oom Krisjan took to the Internet this week to look into the background behind the parliamentary committee’s slow-moving consideration of the public protector’s report that National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka had treated unfairly and impinged on the dignity of Jacob Zuma in the way he handled an investigation of the deputy president.

Lawrence Mushwana became South Africa’s second Public Protector in late 2002. Here’s what Sapa reported he said on September 26 2002 - shortly after he was approved for th post by Parliament. “Mushwana also described former ANC MP Bulelani Ngcuka, who became national director of public prosecutions, and ex-ANC MP Willie Hofmeyr, who became the head of the assets forfeiture unit, as politicians who had acquitted themselves well in their new posts serving the community. ‘No one is saying they’re not doing good jobs’. Mushwana also said he did not believe that other nominees for the post were apolitical. It might be a case of better ‘to have the devil you know, than you don’t know’, he said.”

Mushwana was nominated by the parliamentary ad hoc committee, which interviewed several candidates. Again quoting Sapa (September 18 2002) : “ANC MP Mike Masutha said his party had no doubt Mushwana was the most suitable candidate. The fact that he spoke 10 out of the country’s 11 official languages would make him generally accessible to all South Africans.”

Guess who currently serves on the ad hoc committee refereeing the public protector report? None other than Masutha.

With acknowledgements to Krisjan Lemmer and the Mail & Guardian.